Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Crazies

The Crazies 2010
Director: Brock Eisner
Writers: Scott Kosar and Ray Wright
Starring Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Joe Anderson, Danielle Panabaker, Christie Lynn Smith, Brett Rickaby, Preston Bailey and John Aylward
Romero is a benchmark name in horror films so it is always with trepidation I see a remake of one of his films. Luckily, The Crazies is one of his lesser known works that could have benefited by an updating, as the original is a sluggish and very leisurely paced film. With Eisner directing I was not sure how it would turn out though since his last film Sahara was not the greatest film I had seen. But after watching The Crazies it seems he has a really deft hand when it comes to making horror and suspense films. This is a film that combines 2 types of films, the horror film with the road picture and does it effortlessly well. This is a film that knows where it is going and it has a sense of what it takes to scare and unnerve the viewers. It has some great scares and a excellent cast that propels the film at a rapid click. This definitely is a good horror film that uses the topic of viral outbreaks really well.
The plot basics are this, in a small town a plane crashes with a viral agent that infects the water. This viral agent is a hybrid form of rabies that causes anyone to ingest it to go mad dog insane. The sheriff (Olyphant) of this small town investigates and soon the whole town is under quarantine and his wife (Mitchell) is taken into custody. So, along with his deputy (Anderson) he goes and breaks her out and tries to get to a safe point out of the town away from the outbreak. Along the way they have to deal with dangers springing up all around them and within each other if they hope to survive in one piece.
This is a taut and suspenseful film. The direction by Eisner is tight. I especially liked the scene in the car wash that was both creepy and suspenseful. He also elevated the tension and the suspense during the diner scene at the end of the film. He has a very good feel for what works in a horror film and shoots it beautifully. The script is simple and fluid. The story takes no time in getting started and once the action begins to fly it does not let up till the climax. The cast is superb too, Olyphant is a great heroic protagonist and you are always pulling for him. Mitchell is a great co lead and one of my favorite genre actresses today. Anderson as the deputy is quite good too and I like how he slowly but surely unravels. He plays a unhinged personality very well. The SFX and make up effects in the film are quite good and bloody. The scene with the knife in the throat is done very well. The score and music used in the film really plays up the sense of desolation and despair in the film. It really makes you feel that there is little or no hope for the characters. This is a superior remake and far better than Romero’s original film.
This one gets 4 out of 5

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